Because this morning, Nava got into a fight with two coyotes.
Now Nava is coyote proofed. I wrote about it here. Coyote proofing is not the same as rattle snake proofing. She is rattle snake proofed, too. With the rattles, they introduce the dog to the snake - yes a real one - and then send a blast of air from a collar round their neck and the dog learns pretty quickly not to go near that rattley thing. Nava learned in about three seconds. The trainer does this with the appearance of the snake, the smell of the snake and the sound, too. It's a brilliant method and gives me great peace of mind that I can hike on the riverbed of my lovely town and not worry about her. The riverbed is filled with rattles. And mountain lions. But that is another story.
So coyotes. She is coyote proofed in that we walk with a very long leash so that she is attached to me and not wandering around the orange grove that we spend our early mornings in.
The coyotes have a seasonal rhythm - or so I thought - and are very busy in the grove with me during the winter months. But in the spring they are busy with their babies and in the summer and early fall, when it is really hot here, I don't see them at all. That is when the rattle snakes come out. It is always something.
So these last few weeks, with the weather warm and the coyotes nowhere to be seen, I have started leash free walking again. My dog is safe, from snakes (those pesky rattles come to the grove, too) and coyotes and she is free to wander without a worry.
Except obviously she is not. (don't judge me)
Because this morning, as we were walking down my driveway, she took off. Fast. And so I took off after her. This was not an I see a bunny and love to chase them run. This was something else. And as I made it down the driveway I see them, maybe one hundred yards away. Two big and full and healthy and unafraid coyotes. And my dog, angry and surefooted, is heading right towards them.
Now Nava and one coyote is not an issue. They see her and they run. And she is knows this and I think she just assumed that two would run, too. But they didn't. They turned and met her where she was and they are in it. And I am yelling, first her name and then a deep and guttural and filled with rage sound that pierces the early morning air as I run towards them. No-one messes with my dog.
Nava comes to me before they run off. She left the fight pretty quickly once she heard me call her name. And because I am running towards them, they did not chase her but instead looked for a moment at me and then took off into the protection of the orange trees.
All the hair on Nava's back is up and she is panting hard and ready to head back up our driveway. We were both are panting and ready to be back safe in our home.
I have seen Nava fight. She was in it at the dog park once. Which is why we only go when it is empty now. She does not start things, but will not back down. And she is scary. And strong. And so powerful. As she was today. But she was no match for this two on one battle.
She has two, small punctures on her hind legs. This is how they do it, these smart and scary almost dogs but not. They surround their prey and while one works the front, the other works the legs until the animal is no longer able to use them, And then it is done.
Except today it was not. Today they met their match in me.
We took a warm shower together and I soaped up her legs and cleaned out her wound, small but deep and worrisome. And so I took her to the vet to make sure she did not need a rabies booster and they gave her antibiotics and something for the pain. Though we played ball soon after this encounter, she is now a bit sore and feeling tired, too.
These coyotes threw me off my game, they changed the rules and invaded my morning space during a time when they should be staying cool up in their dens. Was it that we were out just that bit earlier this morning and so the night had not yet become dawn and safe for us to walk? Or is it that they are always here, even when I think that they are not, and it was just a matter of time before my brave and good pup would have found them at the edge of our land? Whatever it is, I will walk my morning walk in the grove leashed up. Even on the warmest of days.
Speaking of warm days, there are now many of them. Not as warm as summers past - our mornings have been sweatpant and sweater cool as I walk Nava to the rising sun - and our nights are prime for sleeping still, but the days are hot on the skin and the sun is bright in the sky and so it was time to fix the canopy that covers our upstairs porch.
We decided - my dear husband and I - that we would do this ourselves. And so he went to the hardware store and bought the supplies and then watched a how-to video on how to put a grommet in. I would have just started putting holes in the fabric and winged it. We have very different methods.
So he watches the video and then I do, too only because he asked me to. And we are ready. And we go outside, and make that first, small hole and go to grommet it up and everything is backwards. The grommet is on the metal grommet holder thing wrong and the top of the grommet is on the bottom and... well you get the idea. And I - Yes me! - I suggest we watch the video again.
Now, for anyone who knows me, I have absolutely no attention to detail (unless I really care about something like my kids or dog or clothes and shoes) whereas my husband does....in relation to me but not really. And so my wanting to watch the video again is completely out of character. But watch it we did. To get it all right.
And then out we went again, to the porch and our do-it-yourself mending activity.
This first picture gives you a sense of our porch and our canopy with the lovely ripped section in the back.
It's a bit dirty, too. Not sure how to clean that. Not sure if I want to.
And finally, it's our anniversary today. Twenty-nine years of married - not always - bliss but a timeless love and a deep friendship and a commitment to always doing our best. Because that is what it takes in love and life. Alll we have is the best that we can give.
Happy anniversary to my husband. And happy holiday weekend to you all.